Settlers in Early Jamestown

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In 1607, settlers from England came to the new world for money and new land. They settled in present-day Virginia and named their colony after King James, their sponsor. Europeans came and took over natives’ and killed many of them. Many colonists died in the first six months. The land they settled in was very swampy, had mosquitoes with a disease, and were surrounded by a powerful Indian tribe. This led to a difficult winter.

The Indian tribe was the Powhatan Indians.

The daughter of the chief, Pocahontas, was a very helpful leader for the colonists. In Disney’s Pocahontas, it shows the Europeans settling in Jamestown. However, some people believe it was not shown correctly. Was Disney’s Pocahontas and accurate portrayal of early Jamestown Settlement and lifestyle? Disney did not correctly portray the early settlement and conflicts of Jamestown because they poorly demonstrated the living conditions of settlers and the relations of the natives. The relationship between the natives and whites shown in Pocahontas was not like the actual relations they had because they were depicted as violent in the movie, but in real life were actually very peaceful.

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In Pocahontas, the Indians were described as not welcoming and suspicious of the whites.

The English had a bias against the American Indians and called them derogatory names like ‘savages'(Pocahontas). This is different from how the actual history of their relationships was. John Smith said that the ‘the emperor welcomed me with good words and great platters of food'(Doc B).

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They were shown kindness and promised to give settlers what they asked for a trade. There is a significant difference in the way Disney showed the settlers and natives relationship versus the documents. The movies showed a more dangerous, aggressive style while the docs show peaceful actions. Another way that Disney’s Pocahontas was fiction, not fact, was because of the fighting between the settlers and Natives. As soon as word got around that the English were the there, both groups were ready to fight. The Indians and English both had weapons and were depicted as violent in the movie. In Document D, you could come to the conclusion that in reality, the Indians were unarmed and friendly.

Powhatan says to John Smith that ‘Why will you take by force what you may have quietly by love’ demonstrating they wanted peace (Doc D). In real history, the Indians and Whites were a lot less violent as a whole and more willing to provide for each other. The way Disney’s Pocahontas depicted the living conditions the settlers in England were incorrect because primary sources from the time of the settlement of Jamestown prove them fiction. The conditions of settlers in the movie seemed terrible and not life-threatening. You couldn’t see any sign of disease and the colonists looked healthy. In the documents said that colonists died from fevers swelling fluxes and famine.(DocE). The ways of the settler was risky and many died this was described in the documents. we know that Disney’s Pocahontas is incorrect because they did not show difficulties struggles of the settlers. the second way the living conditions of settlers were incorrect were their sources of food and water. The movie The Governor has Fried Chicken to eat and clean bath water for a dog the settlers all looks very nourished.

By looking at document e we can see that describe quote small can of barley soaked in water and quote the water they had was either salty or slimy. food and water they had was nowhere near close to the way the colonists of Jamestown had in Pocahontas the movie. Starvation and contaminated food was a serious problem. this was not clearly demonstrated in the movie Disney made. In Disney’s Pocahontas the film directors did not accurately portray the settlement of Jamestown by European colonists. Primary sources are very important because they are often closer to the truth than secondary sources. primary sources are sources from the time oeriod of the event, making them more reliable. We can see this as Pocahontas a secondary source is not as reliable. The one-sidedness of a cartoon format is a setup for single stories and myths that blur the truth. This is why it is beneficial to have stories with multiple sides and viewpoints.

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Settlers in Early Jamestown. (2021, Mar 24). Retrieved from

Settlers in Early Jamestown
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